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Governance of the Covid-19 response: a call for more inclusive and transparent decision-making

A commentary by Dheepa Rajan, Kira Koch, Katja Rohrer, Csongor Bajnoczki, Anna Socha, Maike Voss, Marjolaine Nicod, Valery Ridde, and Justin Koonin. Published in BMJGlobal Health.


  • Not all countries make their Covid-19 task force membership list public—the available information varies by country.

  • There is currently a predominance of politicians, virologists and epidemiologists in the Covid-19 response at the country level.

  • Experts on non-Covid-19 health, social and societal consequences of Covid-19 response measures are, for the most part, not included in Covid-19 decision-making bodies.

  • There is little transparency regarding whom decision-making bodies are consulting as their source of advice and information.

  • From the available data on Covid-19 decision-making entities, female representation is particularly paltry.

  • In addition, civil society is hardly involved in national government decision-making nor its response efforts, barring some exceptions.

  • We need to be more inclusive and multidisciplinary: the Covid-19 crisis is not simply a health problem but a societal one—it impacts every single person in society one way or another.

  • Decision makers need to address more systematically the suffering from mental illness exacerbations, domestic violence, child abuse, child development delays, chronic diseases and so on, during lockdown.


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